Solved

What is the best way to automate emailing reports from Access using a virtual machine?

Posted on 2015-01-05
6
47 Views
Last Modified: 2016-02-23
I currently have an old desktop PC that is serving as my reporting computer. It is running Windows XP, and uses the windows task scheduler to open Access and run queries, some of which get emailed out using Outlook.

The PC has seen better days and we now are trying to transition to a virtual machine.  When the PC is working well, it does not require any user interaction. This is what we are shooting for with the virtual machine as well.  However, here are my issues:

1.  The VM is running Windows 7 and the task scheduler will not open Access to run a database.
2. When minimizing the VM, it seems to halt any DB application that was running.

What is the best way to get around these issues and have something that can be scheduled on the VM and run without having a user babysit it?

Thanks!
0
Comment
Question by:Dominator1025
6 Comments
 
LVL 120

Accepted Solution

by:
Rey Obrero (Capricorn1) earned 500 total points
ID: 40532200
i suggest that you use a dedicated PC for this.
0
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:PatHartman
ID: 40532212
I have only limited experience with VM and used it for isolated testing, not running a production application.  My understanding was that when the VM was inactive, everything stopped so this wouldn't work for you at all.  Virtual servers are different.  You might try that software but it may not run on a regular desktop.  You may have to run it on the server.

Desktop computers are  pretty cheap these days.  You can probably get a new one for under $250 that will be more than adequate to run the reports.  It will ultimately be cheaper than spending time on trying to make the VM solution work.

To get around the problem of directly running Access, I have used a batch file.  So, the scheduler runs a .bat file and the .bat file opens the reporting database.  In my case the database does a batch process that creates a file that needs to be Ftp'd to a different company.

I haven't attempted this with Win 8.1 (I'm avoiding that like the plague that it is) but it works fine with Win 7.  You can also check out the tools offered by FMS at www.fmsinc.com.  Some of them don't yet work with A2013 if you bought it with a subscription but A2010 and older would be fine.
0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Nick67
ID: 40532377
...to open Access and run queries, some of which get emailed out using Outlook.
Depending upon exactly what you are doing, and whether or not you have Outlook installed on a server class machine, but you can script ADO access to mdb files from VBScript files and/or from Outlook without a need for Access.

You could then suck out the required data out and punch it off.
The VM is always going to be problematic, as it is not going to go off without being the focus.
Doesn't mean that some script couldn't be created to bring it into focus with the Task scheduler, but it's a problem.

Why a VM?
0
Use Case: Protecting a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Microsoft Azure is rapidly becoming the norm in dynamic IT environments. This document describes the challenges that organizations face when protecting data in a hybrid cloud IT environment and presents a use case to demonstrate how Acronis Backup protects all data.

 

Author Comment

by:Dominator1025
ID: 40532392
Our IT group sold us on VM as a replacement saying it could do everything our PC was doing.  This is why I pay EE.  

I'm leaning towards scrapping the VM and asking them to give us a newer desktop. I'll let you know in the next day or so, as I'm starting to think they don't understand what we are trying to do.
0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Nick67
ID: 40532522
Before you say anything, test!
Create a task on the VM with a simple batch file or .vbs that will copy some dummy file to a directory with a changing time-based name.
Get the task running and let the VM fall out of focus.
Then see if the dummy files show up.

If they don't, you can demo to IT that the VM will not reliably do what you want.
Then the only folks with possible egg-on-face won't be you or us!
I ran a little test myself, with a virtualized Server 2008 running on Server Standard 2012.  Running in user context (which is what Access'd need) a batch file to do a copy DOES execute if the VM is minimized -- so maybe a VM on a server may do, but a VM on a regular workstation is unlikely to do what you need.
0
 
LVL 84
ID: 40533209
IT companies love VM's because it almost entirely eliminates the need for on-site equipment, and they can more easily provide your tech support with VMs. Doesn't mean they're the best choice for you or your business - just means they're the best choice for the IT company!

That said, I like virtual machines, and run quite a few of them on my own server, but only for my own internal use and testing.
0

Featured Post

The Eight Noble Truths of Backup and Recovery

How can IT departments tackle the challenges of a Big Data world? This white paper provides a roadmap to success and helps companies ensure that all their data is safe and secure, no matter if it resides on-premise with physical or virtual machines or in the cloud.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Last article we focus in how to VMware: How to create and use VMs TAGs – Part 1 so before follow this article and perform the next tasks, you should read the first article how to create the TAG before using them in Veeam Backup Jobs.
Phishing attempts can come in all forms, shapes and sizes. No matter how familiar you think you are with them, always remember to take extra precaution when opening an email with attachments or links.
Basics of query design. Shows you how to construct a simple query by adding tables, perform joins, defining output columns, perform sorting, and apply criteria.
In Microsoft Access, learn how to use Dlookup and other domain aggregate functions and one method of specifying a string value within a string. Specify the first argument, which is the expression to be returned: Specify the second argument, which …

786 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question